2021-22 Catalogs

125 Jesse Hall
Columbia, MO 65211
Map and directions »
Phone numbers and e-mail »

BA in Anthropology

Degree Program Description

Anthropology is the study of the entire human experience, from our primate roots to our globalized present.  Anthropology at MU emphasizes scientific approaches to the study of human biology, behavior, culture, and evolution. Anthropology majors are required to take core courses in all three focal areas of the discipline (archaeology, biological anthropology, and cultural anthropology) but may concentrate in one or more of these fields. The degree offers three specialized tracks of study for students who want a closer fit between the major and future employment or post-baccalaureate training: Health & Human Biology, Archaeology & Heritage, and Culture & Human Ecology. Students are not required to choose a track and these do not appear on diplomas or transcripts. Students have opportunities to become involved in research, helping them develop creativity, enhance critical thinking skills, solve problems and improve their writing. Undergraduate training in anthropology also prepares students for work in government (both in the United States and abroad), museum positions, and field positions in archaeology, ethnography, human paleontology, or forensics. It may also provide students with the opportunity to enter graduate school leading towards an academic career teaching and conducting anthropological research at a university. A degree in anthropology also provides students with the background to pursue careers in business, journalism, health care, law, and many other fields.

Major Program Requirements

In addition to college foundation requirements and University graduation requirements, such as general education, all anthropology students are required to complete the following core courses (15 credits):

ANTHRO 2020Fundamentals of Archaeology with Laboratory4
or ANTHRO 2021
ANTHRO 2022
Fundamentals of Archaeology
and Fundamentals of Archaeology Lab
ANTHRO 2030Cultural Anthropology3
ANTHRO 2050Introduction to Biological Anthropology with Laboratory5
or ANTHRO 2051
ANTHRO 2052
Introduction to Biological Anthropology
and Biological Anthropology Laboratory
ANTHRO 4990Capstone Seminar in Anthropology3
Total Credits15

ANTHRO 4990 Capstone Seminar in Anthropology must be completed even if a student completes an additional major in another department. Some departments waive this requirement for students completing a double major. Students with second majors should check with the other department to see if they are required to complete both capstone courses.

Electives and Specialized Tracks

A minimum of 15 additional Anthropology credits (usually 5 courses) are required for the major.  No specific courses are required but a minimum of 8 credits must be at the 3000-level or above (excluding capstone ANTHRO 4990). Students are encouraged to follow one of the three tracks described below to specialize their elective courses. Tracks do not appear on diplomas or transcripts.

HHB Track: Health & Human Biology

Coursework in this track encourages students to develop skills for careers devoted to understanding human health and biological variation from cross-cultural and evolutionary perspectives. Students are encouraged to become involved in research (see below) or internships that will advance their training. Appropriate field schools can also be valuable (e.g., paleoanthropology, primatology, bioarchaeology). The department keeps an updated list of these field schools operated by other universities.

ANTHRO 1000Introduction to Anthropology: Human Biology, Prehistory, and Culture3
ANTHRO 1000HIntroduction to Anthropology: Human Biology, Prehistory, and Culture - Honors3
ANTHRO 1500Monkeys, Apes and Humans3
ANTHRO 1500WMonkeys, Apes and Humans - Writing Intensive3
ANTHRO 2002Topics in Anthropology-Biological Science1-3
ANTHRO 2500Primate Anatomy and Evolution3
ANTHRO 2530Human Evolution through Film and Literature1-3
ANTHRO 2570Parents and Offspring3
ANTHRO 2580Evolution of Human Sexuality3
ANTHRO 2580WEvolution of Human Sexuality - Writing Intensive3
ANTHRO 3002Topics in Anthropology-Biological Sciences3
ANTHRO 3540Human Biology and Life History3
ANTHRO 3560Plagues and Peoples3
ANTHRO 3560WPlagues and Peoples - Writing Intensive3
ANTHRO 4360Medical Anthropology3
ANTHRO 4500Human Origins5
ANTHRO 4520Functional Morphology of the Human Skeleton3
ANTHRO 4540Human Biological Variation3
ANTHRO 4580Evolutionary Medicine3
ANTHRO 4880Demographic Anthropology3
ANTHRO 4885Human Evolutionary Genetics3
ANTHRO 4890Human Skeletal Identification and Analysis5
ANTHRO 4950Undergraduate Research in Anthropology2-8
ANTHRO 4950HHonors Research in Anthropology3
ANTHRO 4950HWUndergraduate Research in Anthropology - Honors/Writing Intensive2-8
ANTHRO 4960Undergraduate Readings in Anthropology1-99

Back to Top

A&H Track: Archaeology & Heritage

Students choosing this track develop skills for collection, interpretation, and curation of material culture from archaeological or contemporary human groups. A field school experience is strongly recommended. The department keeps an updated list of these field schools operated by other universities. MU-hosted field schools include AMS 2940 and varying summer study abroad courses. Additional research or internships opportunities, particularly with MURR and the Museum of Anthropology, are also encouraged.

ANTHRO 1000Introduction to Anthropology: Human Biology, Prehistory, and Culture3
ANTHRO 1000HIntroduction to Anthropology: Human Biology, Prehistory, and Culture - Honors3
ANTHRO 1003Topics in Anthropology - Behavioral1-3
ANTHRO 1200Significant Discoveries of Archaeology3
ANTHRO 2003Topics in Anthropology - Behavioral1-3
ANTHRO 2215World Archaeology3
ANTHRO 2800Introduction to Field Methods in Archaeology1-6
ANTHRO 2825Analyzing Artifacts3
ANTHRO 2950Research Skills in Anthropology1-3
ANTHRO 3003Topics in Anthropology - Behavioral Science3
ANTHRO 4200Environment and Archaeology3
ANTHRO 4240History of Archaeology3
ANTHRO 4280Archaeology of Religion3
ANTHRO 4300Comparative Social Organization3
ANTHRO 4340Cultural Evolution and Change3
ANTHRO 4500Human Origins5
ANTHRO 4620North American Archaeology3
ANTHRO 4640Prehistory of the Greater Southwest3
ANTHRO 4650Prehistory of Mesoamerica3
ANTHRO 4700Old World Prehistory3
ANTHRO 4800Field Methods in Archaeology1-8
ANTHRO 4820Zooarchaeology3
ANTHRO 4826Stone Artifact Analysis3
ANTHRO 4828Archaeological Analysis of Ceramics3
ANTHRO 4840The Comparative Method in Anthropology3
ANTHRO 4880Demographic Anthropology3
ANTHRO 4890Human Skeletal Identification and Analysis5
ANTHRO 4950Undergraduate Research in Anthropology2-8
ANTHRO 4950HHonors Research in Anthropology3
ANTHRO 4950HWUndergraduate Research in Anthropology - Honors/Writing Intensive2-8
ANTHRO 4960Undergraduate Readings in Anthropology1-99

Back to Top

CHE Track: Culture & Human Ecology

This track provides training in the skills of cultural anthropologists for collecting, analyzing, interpreting, and communicating information about cultural processes and cultural variation. Completion of the multicultural certificate and a minor, especially in a foreign language, are strongly recommended. Students are encouraged to become involved in research (see below) or internships that will advance their training. Appropriate field schools can also be valuable (e.g., language or cultural immersion, ethnographic field work). The department keeps an updated list of these field schools operated by other universities.

ANTHRO 1000Introduction to Anthropology: Human Biology, Prehistory, and Culture3
ANTHRO 1000HIntroduction to Anthropology: Human Biology, Prehistory, and Culture - Honors3
ANTHRO 1003Topics in Anthropology - Behavioral1-3
ANTHRO 1060Human Language3
ANTHRO 1150Introduction to Folklore Genres3
ANTHRO 1300Multiculturalism: An Introduction3
ANTHRO 1350Deviance: A Cross-Cultural Perspective3
ANTHRO 2003Topics in Anthropology - Behavioral1-3
ANTHRO 2005Topics in Anthropology - Humanities1-3
ANTHRO 2100Indigenous Religions3
ANTHRO 2100HIndigenous Religions - Honors3
ANTHRO 2150Introduction to Folklore Field Research3
ANTHRO 2300Anthropology of War3
ANTHRO 2340Hunters and Gatherers of the World3
ANTHRO 2950Research Skills in Anthropology1-3
ANTHRO 3003Topics in Anthropology - Behavioral Science3
ANTHRO 3004Topics in Anthropology - Social Science3
ANTHRO 3005Topics in Anthropology - Humanities3
ANTHRO 3150American Folklore3
ANTHRO 3340HThe Evolution of Human Nature - Honors3
ANTHRO 3340HWThe Evolution of Human Nature - Honors/Writing Intensive3
ANTHRO 3380Native American Religions3
ANTHRO 3470Culture as Communication3
ANTHRO 3490Indian Cinema3
ANTHRO 3560Plagues and Peoples3
ANTHRO 3560WPlagues and Peoples - Writing Intensive3
ANTHRO 3600North American Indian Culture3
ANTHRO 3780Cultures of Southeast Asia3
ANTHRO 4005Topics in Anthropology - Humanities1-3
ANTHRO 4001Topics in Anthropology-General1-3
ANTHRO 4150Special Themes in Folklore3
ANTHRO 4170Oral Tradition3
ANTHRO 4300Comparative Social Organization3
ANTHRO 4320Ecological and Environmental Anthropology3
ANTHRO 4340Cultural Evolution and Change3
ANTHRO 4350Psychological Anthropology3
ANTHRO 4360Medical Anthropology3
ANTHRO 4370Anthropology of Gender3
ANTHRO 4380Anthropological Theories of Religion3
ANTHRO 4385Anthropology of Shamanism3
ANTHRO 4412Gender, Language, and Communication3
ANTHRO 4420Historical Linguistics3
ANTHRO 4600Ethnographic Studies of Selected Cultures3
ANTHRO 4680Cultures and Peoples of the Amazon3
ANTHRO 4790Culture and Society in South Asia3
ANTHRO 4830Ethnographic Methods3
ANTHRO 4840The Comparative Method in Anthropology3
ANTHRO 4870Field Methods in Linguistics4
ANTHRO 4870WField Methods in Linguistics - Writing Intensive4
ANTHRO 4880Demographic Anthropology3
ANTHRO 4950Undergraduate Research in Anthropology2-8
ANTHRO 4950HHonors Research in Anthropology3
ANTHRO 4950HWUndergraduate Research in Anthropology - Honors/Writing Intensive2-8
ANTHRO 4960Undergraduate Readings in Anthropology1-99

Back to Top

Student Research

Students can gain hands-on experience doing anthropological research in their coursework. This experience will normally begin with ANTHRO 2950 Research Skills in Anthropology, an introduction to the methods used by one or more faculty members. This course will satisfy the methods requirement if a student enrolls in it for at least 3 credits. A student may independently choose a faculty mentor and arrange for course credit or can work with the department's Director of Undergraduate Studies, who will match the student's interests with those of one or more faculty members.

Students wishing to continue doing research of an independent nature may register for ANTHRO 4950 Undergraduate Research in Anthropology. Prior approval by the director of undergraduate studies is required to use these courses to satisfy the departmental methods requirement. ANTHRO 4950H Honors Research in Anthropology may be used to satisfy the requirements for an Honors BA with a major in Anthropology, but the course is not required for that degree. Specific requirements for the Honors BA are described below.

Related Courses

Because of the interdisciplinary nature of anthropology, the Department of Anthropology strongly recommends that all students complete a cluster of at least two or three courses that complement chosen courses within the major.

These courses may be offered by a single department or may be a related set of courses from several departments (e.g., courses in ancient history from both the Ancient & Mediterranean Studies and the History departments). The courses should be chosen with their mentor and are intended to provide background in the content of other disciplines related to the student's anthropological focus. Fulfillment of a formal minor (15 credits in another department as approved by that department) or a second major (at least 30 credits in another department as approved by that department) can also be an effective way to gain expertise in related areas. Certificates can provide further credentials as evidence of specialized training and experience (e.g. multicultural certificate) and anthropology courses can be counted toward those certificate requirements.

Back to Top

Semester Plan

Below is a sample plan of study, semester by semester.  A student's actual plan may vary based on course choices where options are available.

First Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
ANTHRO 203013ANTHRO 202014
ENGLSH 1000*3MATH 1050, 1100, or STAT 1200*3
HIST 1100 or POL_SC 1100*3Behavioral science course*3
Foreign language 1*5Foreign language 2*5
 14 15
Second Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
Anthropology elective13ANTHRO 2050 (Satisfies lab science)*15
Foreign language 3*3Bio./Phys./Math. Science course*3
Bio./Phys./Math. Science course*3Behavioral science (upper level)*3
Social science course*3Humanities course*3
Humanities course*3Elective3
 15 17
Third Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
Anthropology elective13Anthropology elective13-5
Anthropology elective13WI course3
Bio/Phys/Math Science course (if needed)*3Humanities (upper level)*3
Social science (upper level)*3Related field course (recommended)13
Humanities course*3Elective 3
 15 15-17
Fourth Year
FallCreditsSpringCredits
Anthropology elective13Capstone Seminar in Anthropology *13
Related field course (recommended)13Related field course (recommended)13
Electives9Electives 9-11
 15 15-17
Total Credits: 121-125

Back to Top

Departmental Honors

The Honors Program is organized under the Honors College of the College of Arts and Science within the University of Missouri. To be accepted in the Honors Program, the student must achieve and maintain a minimum cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA) of 3.3 in all course work. In addition, to be accepted, and remain eligible for the honors program in the Department of Anthropology, the student must maintain a GPA of 3.5 in all anthropology courses.

The University of Missouri grants three types of Honors degrees to students in the College of Arts and Science:

  1. General Honors, which is administered by the Honors College and which is obtained by completion of a suitable number of honors courses (see the Honors College for details),
  2. Latin Honors (e.g., cum laude), which are conferred on students whose GPAs meet specified minimum requirements, and
  3. Departmental Honors, which is administered by the Department of Anthropology.

The departmental program leading to the BA degree with Honors in Anthropology is designed for students who desire a more intensive experience in anthropology and who wish to work closely with a particular faculty member in the anthropology department on an independent research or scholarly project. A student wishing to graduate with departmental honors must fulfill the basic course requirements for the BA in Anthropology. In addition, the student, with the assistance of his/her honors advisor, is expected to develop, plan, and conduct research on an independent project. It is recommended that students in the honors program enroll in ANTHRO 4950H Honors Research in Anthropology, although projects initiated in other courses or through independent, noncredit research experiences may also be honors eligible. To complete the Honors degree, a student must submit the results of the research project as a formal honors thesis that the student defends during an oral examination conducted by an examining committee. The committee consists of three faculty members: the advisor, another faculty member, and the departmental Honors Director. The examination is scheduled no later than the thirteenth week of the term during which the student expects to graduate. Each member of the committee is furnished with a copy of the student’s thesis or evidence of scholarly activity at least ten days before the examination. After the oral defense the student furnishes the department with one final copy of the thesis or evidence of scholarly achievement (e.g., photographs) suitable for preservation by the Department. Upon completion of the program, the examining committee recommends to the Dean of the College of Arts and Science that the student be awarded a BA with Honors in Anthropology.

Back to Top

Degree Audit

The degree audit is an automated report reflecting a student’s academic progress toward the completion of a degree.  Degree Audits are not available for all programs; however, please consult with the appropriate college or school for audit information.

MU students can request a degree audit by logging in to myDegreePlanner.  Students may also access myDegreePlanner via myZou, in the Student Center, by clicking on the Request Degree Audit link. The audit automatically pulls in the student’s MU course work, transfer courses and courses in progress.  This is available to current students, admitted students, and those who last attended less than three terms ago.

Past MU students can request a degree audit by contacting the Academic Advising Unit of the division in which they were last enrolled at MU. For contact information, go to http://advising.missouri.edu/contact/.

Prospective students, can access a preliminary MU degree audit via https://www.transferology.com/index.htm. Information on the college credits already earned will have to be manually entered before it can be evaluated against current degree requirements.

For additional details on degree audits, go to http://registrar.missouri.edu/degree-audits/index.php.

Back to Top

Major and Career Exploration

The University of Missouri has many resources to assist you in exploring majors and career possibilities.  For guidance, visit the Majors and Careers website or view specific resources below.

  • If you are considering a change of major or are exploring multiple majors, schedule an appointment with an advisor in the Discovery Center by calling (573)884-9700 or through MU Connect Discovery Center service in you success network.

  • If you have decided on a major, visit an academic advisor in the School or College that you are interested in to discuss the process of declaring the major

  • If you would like to learn more about your career interests, abilities, values and talents, visit the MU Career Center.  No Appointment is necessary to explore career options with one of our staff members.

For additional major and career exploration resources, visit Major & Career Exploration in the catalog.

Back to Top